Bob Lewis on IT Projects, Part 4

In the book, There’s No Such Thing as an IT Project: A Handbook for Intentional Business Change, Bob Lewis and co-author Dave Kaiser analyzed and discussed the new ways of thinking about IT and business management.

These are some of my takeaways from reading the book.

In the “BusOps” chapter, Bob and Dave discussed the role of IT operations in making the intentional business change.

We often think of IT operations as a service provider to internal business customers. That is an outdated concept. The practice of the negotiated service level agreements (SLAs) between IT operations and its internal customers is counter-productive for two reasons.

First, the technical SLAs are pointless because we live in a 24×7 world where the business is always operating somewhere in a time zone. The days of computer systems going down are over. Amazon and Google do not go down, and that sort of operational style is now considered a norm.

Second, the service-related SLAs are also outdated because internally facing SLAs cannot be enforced like a legal contract. The organization still needs to measure its operational effectiveness, but it should be done with carefully designed service performance metrics, not SLAs.

The concept of DevOps in IT is a good starting point, but we should not stop there. Business operations and IT operations have a great deal in common these days because we live in a technology-enabled business environment.

Going “digital” is a natural way of doing business because conducting business with technology is no longer optional. As a result, Business and IT operations are inextricably linked. We now live in a “BusOps” environment. The integration between Business and IT is a new way of going forward.

So, what can be done to address BusOps opportunities and challenges? Fortunately, Bob and Dave have some solid suggestions laid out at the end of Chapter Four. I highly recommend the book.